Dream Duos in Packers History

If you could pair two players in Packers history together, who would you pick and why? 

It’s the offseason, which means we’re back with another fan-centered opinion piece to help pass the time. Let me start by giving a HUGE shout out to the super-talented Mitchell Pantzke for graciously letting us use his Taylor/Jones image for this piece. It is beyond fantastic and if you haven’t seen some of Pantzke’s other stuff, I strongly encourage you to check it out. 

Yesterday he posted a graphic of Davante Adams and Sterling Sharpe together bursting off the line of scrimmage and it got me thinking about some dream duos in Packers history. Naturally, I opened it up on Twitter and here are some of my favorite responses:

Jim Taylor and Aaron Jones (Submitted by: @ColePope12)

Taylor and Jones would provide a new kind of thunder and lightning in Green Bay’s backfield. Taylor’s best season came in 1962 when he had 1,474 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 105.3 yards per game. This past season, Jones topped 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career and posted 16 rushing touchdowns with another three receiving. While we’re here, let’s all envision Aaron Jones running a power sweep in Lombardi’s offense. Chills. 

LeRoy Butler & Nick Collins (Submitted by: @dunchman)

Butler and Collins combine for some ridiculously stellar numbers, reminding fans once again what could have been if Collins was able to finish out his career healthy. In 12 seasons with Green Bay, Butler tallied 38 interceptions with 533 return yards and one touchdown. In seven seasons with the Packers, Collins had 21 interceptions with 5007 return yards and four touchdowns. Added together, that gives the duo 59 picks and five touchdowns. There’s also two Super Bowl rings in that secondary. 

Reggie White & Za’Darius Smith (Submitted by: @JoshReuter328)

What I love about this dream duo is that both proved to be immediate impact free agent signings for newer general managers. White came in and helped lead the Packers to a Lombardi Trophy, and in Smith’s first season in Green Bay, his defense got one game away from the Super Bowl. It’s hard to think of a more impactful defensive player for the Packers than Reggie White, who had 68.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, and 301 total tackles in his six years with Green Bay. Smith put up a career-high 13.5 sacks in his first year with Green Bay and had 55 combined tackles for the team. Both men stand out as locker room leaders and would have dominated opposing fronts together. 

Herb Adderley and Charles Woodson (Submitted by: @EvanNelson84 & @DMRees2011)

There’s a combined six Super Bowl appearances between Adderley and Woodson with four rings, and both guys made an appearance with another NFL team. That’s impressive. In Adderley’s nine-year career with the Packers, he snagged 39 interceptions and returned seven for touchdowns. In the 1965 season alone, Adderley returned three of his six picks for touchdowns. In Woodson’s seven-year stint with Green Bay, he grabbed 38 interceptions and returned nine for touchdowns, with three of those touchdowns coming during his nine-interception 2009 season. Adderley and Woodson were two defensive backs that always had a nose for the end zone, and putting them in the same secondary would’ve just been entirely unfair to opposing offenses. 

Sterling Sharpe and Jermichael Finley (Submitted by: @WritingDavid)

Two fantastic players whose careers were cut short by injury. Sharpe was a three-time All-Pro in his seven-year career with the Packers and was the NFL’s receiving leader in 1992 with 1,461 yards and 13 touchdowns. It’s hard not to imagine what the rest of his career numbers would’ve looked like alongside Brett Favre. His 18 touchdowns in 1994 likely give us a good idea. Similarly, Jermichael Finley was a dominant force for the Packers, and the team hasn’t been able to replicate his production at the tight end position since. He was a go-to weapon for Aaron Rodgers, especially in the middle of the field. Finley’s best season came in 2011, posting eight touchdowns and 767 receiving yards. 

Gilbert Brown and B.J. Raji (Submitted by: @Slim0420stream)

This is just too fun not to think about. You want a stout (pun intended) run defense? Line up Gilbert Brown and B.J. Raji and let them eat double teams all day. They also have two of the best nicknames in sports as “The Gravedigger” and “The Freezer” respectively. There’s two Super Bowl rings in this combo, and both contributed to some dominant defensive performances that helped their teams get to the big dance. For mental visuals alone, this duo had to make the list. 

Robert Brooks and Jordy Nelson (Submitted by: @ChaserMillard)

Brooks and Nelson are a fun pair, but who would get to wear No. 87? There are a ton of parallels between the two careers, with both men even spending their last seasons with AFC West teams before retiring from the NFL. And, both Brooks and Nelson won the NFL PFWA Comeback Player of the Year Award, with Brooks winning in 1997 and Nelson winning in 2016. Brooks’ best season came in 1995 when he tallied 1,497 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Nelson had three separate seasons with over 13 touchdowns and 1,200 receiving yards. Whether Favre or Rodgers quarterbacked the team, this would be a productive receiving duo with big-play ability. 

Reggie White and Julius Peppers (Submitted by: @Goose_MN)

While Julius Peppers only spent three seasons in Green Bay, the impact he had on the team was lasting, and it’s still a shame he never got a Super Bowl ring before hanging up his cleats. Both of Peppers’ career interceptions with the Packers were returned for touchdowns, and he was responsible for 25 sacks during his time in the Frozen Tundra. While Peppers played primarily outside linebacker for the Packers, picturing him as a defensive end with his hand in the dirt (like he played in Carolina) opposite White would create a total mismatch for opposing offensive lines. 

Charles Woodson & Jaire Alexander (Submitted by: @Matt_Pritzl1)

That’s almost too much swagger for one locker room. Almost. This was one of my absolute favorite dream duos. The two former first-round picks would completely dominate any secondary they were a part of. While it’s still early in Alexander’s career, he did snag two interceptions and break up 17 passes this past season in Green Bay. He’s one of the best young corners in the league, and pairing him with prime Charles Woodson would not only give the defense attitude, but pure playmaking ability, too. 

Jim Taylor and William Henderson (Submitted by: @JKobs38)

I’m glad to see William Henderson getting some love on this list, envisioning him as the lead blocker for Taylor. Henderson has a Super Bowl ring of his own to pair with Taylor’s, and the two would’ve been quite a force sharing a backfield, with both earning First Team All-Pro in their careers. While Taylor paved the way in the ground game, Henderson would provide a dynamic option as a pass-catching back, posting more receiving touchdowns (14) than rushing touchdowns (5) in his career.

Donald Driver and Davante Adams (Submitted by: @TheYungFortGod)

Driver and Adams are a dynamic pair with three Pro Bowl appearances apiece. Driver posted seven seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards during his time in Green Bay with six of those seasons coming consecutively, and Adams has come just shy of 1,000 yards twice, with both of those seasons being limited by injury (though he did post a career-high 1,386 yards in 2018). Driver was a true image of consistency and reliability on offense with big-play ability, something that’s been much-needed opposite Adams in the current offense. Adams’ best football is still ahead of him, and as one of the best receivers in the league, it’s fun to imagine how much more production he could have with a guy like Driver also on the roster. These two were just a couple of seasons removed from lining up together, and that would’ve been a sight to see. 

Reggie White and Clay Matthews (Submitted by: @TheeJadon)

Reggie White has gotten a ton of love, and deservedly so. Watching White’s production in Super Bowl XXXI and Matthews’ production in XLV, it’s impossible not to imagine what the two would look like lining up next to one another. Imagine Matthews leaning in next to White yelling “Spill it, Reggie!” Matthews was a defensive force during his 10 seasons in Green Bay, posting 83.5 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, and 189 quarterback hits. Adding his numbers to White’s six-year career with the Packers would give the duo a combined 152 sacks. That’s sheer dominance. 

A huge thank you once again to Mitchell Pantzke for the incredible graphic and the fun idea to pair legacy players together. Drop your dream duo in the comments if they didn’t make the list! 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcasts for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (26)

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JerseyAl's picture

March 31, 2020 at 12:29 pm

awesome stuff!

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Since'61's picture

March 31, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I would go with Ray Nitschke and Zadarius Smith. Nitschke would take care of the middle of the field while Smith would pressure from the outside.

On offense I would pair James Lofton with Jordy Nelson, both had great speed, good hands and ran good routes.

Backfield, Paul Hornung, probably the most versatile offensive player in NFL history, with Ahman Green.

Reggie White with Willie Davis as well.

Thanks, Since ‘61

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packerbackerjim's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:22 pm

Great combos! Adderly and Collins on D; Rodgers and Lofton.

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Since'61's picture

March 31, 2020 at 09:40 pm

Works for me. Stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Crazytim87's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:07 pm

Sterling Sharpe and Aaron Rodgers

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dobber's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:10 pm

Gilbert Brown and Ezra Johnson: Gilbertburgers and hot dogs for the win!!!

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Since'61's picture

March 31, 2020 at 09:42 pm

Throw in a few cookies for dessert. Stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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NickPerry's picture

April 01, 2020 at 07:34 am

Ezra Johnson with anyone would be good. Thanks for bringing him up. Sometimes I forget about him and just how great he was.

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dobber's picture

April 01, 2020 at 08:43 am

There were some really good individual players on some of those "lost" teams of the 70s and 80s.

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x24's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:15 pm

Bhawoh Jue and Ahmad Carroll could play secondary on my team of all time most despised Packers

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pooch's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:44 pm

Sharpe and Lofton

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Fredrik87's picture

March 31, 2020 at 02:14 pm

Jordy Nelson and Sterling Sharp.

Two dominate receivers that would've just destroyed any secondary.

Also agree with since 61 on

Willie Davis and Reggie White.

Reggie White the best defensive player of all time IMO paired with Willie Davis who was dominate during his own time and according to his own words once had a 25 sack season which had sack been recorded back then would have made them single season sack leader.

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wildbill's picture

March 31, 2020 at 07:59 pm

Love the Davis and White paring even though I seem to remember they both primarily played the same position

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stockholder's picture

March 31, 2020 at 02:36 pm

Henry Jordan or Willie Davis. w /White

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 31, 2020 at 04:14 pm

Maybe not the most glamorous positions, but:
David Bakhtiari and Forrest Gregg as your starting tackles!

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J0hn_Deners_GAVEL's picture

March 31, 2020 at 06:06 pm

I'd love to see woodson and white on the field at the same time, reason is obvious.

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ramart103's picture

March 31, 2020 at 06:20 pm

Aaron Rogers to Don Hudson all day, every day.

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Darwins Myth's picture

March 31, 2020 at 07:57 pm

I'd go with Aaron Rodgers and James Lofton. TD bombs, all day long.

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Hematite's picture

April 01, 2020 at 06:53 am

Boyd Dowler and Aaron Rodgers.

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CoachDino's picture

April 01, 2020 at 07:42 am

LeRoy Butler & Nick Collins (Submitted by: @dunchman) I couldn't agree more.

I still remember Leroy facedown. It was the beginning of the end of that Run. Same as when Collins went down.
There was another good safety, Lewis?
It cost both of them in making it into the HOF.

Collins was special. Leroy was so smart.

Good stuff

My Pick
Aaron needs a TE - Give him Paul Coffman.

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Slim11's picture

April 01, 2020 at 10:44 am

I’d take Ron Kramer over Coffman. Kramer was a good blocker and could catch the ball. Coffman was more productive as a receiver.

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CoachDino's picture

April 02, 2020 at 05:35 pm

I have to admit I wasn't familiar with him. Little before my time. I looked him up and ya he was a stud. Type of guy that could play today. Tough breaks with the injuries and lost a year in the NFL when drafted into the Service. Surgeries, with the advancements made now, he may have been one of the greats. Practically a man amongst buys from what I read.

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Crazedcamel's picture

April 01, 2020 at 08:15 am

Dave Robinson and Ted Hendricks
Fred Carr and Clay Matthews
James Lofton and Devante Adams
Aaron Taylor and Jerry Kramer

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Crazedcamel's picture

April 01, 2020 at 08:15 am

Dave Robinson and Ted Hendricks
Fred Carr and Clay Matthews
James Lofton and Devante Adams
Aaron Taylor and Jerry Kramer

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Leatherhead's picture

April 01, 2020 at 10:57 am

Shutdown corners neutralize WRs and Adderly and Woodson were two great ones.

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Flow49's picture

April 01, 2020 at 01:59 pm

KGB and Reggie

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